Cocoon™ is the all-in-one home security system, first launched on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in November 2014.
Cocoon is now protecting homes in 65 countries and their co-founder and Head of Marketing Colin Richardson, takes our Q&A session.
How and why did you start the business?
The five founders had all worked together before in security companies and were catching up over drinks after recently moving into new homes. They were struggling to find a new home security system, suited to a generation of Xbox and PlayStation users.
We had a brainwave of using the air around the device to detect movement in the home and after researching the right technology, Subsound® technology was born. We launched a crowdfunding campaign in November 2015, successfully hitting our target in the first three days.
How long have you been a GS1 member?
For 3 months
Do you trade with any partners/channels?
We sell cocoon online at www.cocoon.life and Amazon UK, as well as with retailers including Selfridges, B&Q, Hughes Electrical, Viking Direct, Brighthouse and Idency. We had a trial partnership with Zurich home insurance (and are open to partnerships with companies who have relationships with households.)
What is a typical day like for you?
Cocoon has 2 offices in Leeds and London. A typical day begins with a 10 min Team Standup (to keep the meeting short as everyone remains standing). We’re a fast paced company, so once we’ve scheduled and synchronized team tasks for the day, we get on with getting stuff done!
What are the main pros/cons to running your own business?
It’s simpler to talk about our team - Cocoon attracts really passionate bright people who enjoy a challenge. Building Cocoon from idea to something working in 65 countries and getting great customer reviews has not been easy, but we work hard and share a passion for making people feel safe. That passion has carried us through.
What are currently your biggest challenges in the business? What keeps you up at night?
The big focus for Cocoon at the moment is to get our home security systems into more retailers, we’re beginning global expansion and exploring more features and product sets. Many customers need reassurance and education about what it can do for them. At Cocoon we’re trying to overcome this by making IoT smart but simple, useful but hassle-free.
What are your plans for the business for the next 12 months?
There’s lots more to come from Cocoon! We will soon have a Skill for Amazon Alexa. There are real opportunities in smart homes and IoT, however it’s still very early.
Tell us an interesting fact about you?
Only member of my family not to join the Royal Airforce! I’m a massive film and tv buff. I’ve seen every single episode of Stargate SG1 and of Star Trek.
Who inspires you?
Richard Branson. He treats work and life as one, so enjoys living. He doesn’t believe in working rules, just does what he feels is right. He looks after people, hires smart, and seems to be happy with the choices he makes.
What top tip/piece of advice would you give to our other brands/sellers?
Advice for GS1 UK members would be: Integrate semantic markups with your GS1 codes and you’ll be amazed at the impact on SEO.
On a more general business view put the customer first. Consumer expectations are changing, fueled primarily by smartphones, social media and e-commerce. As a result, modern businesses are more connected to their customers than ever before. While there’s an opportunity in being more connected to your customer it also presents a real challenge in delivering good customer support. Every interaction a customer has with a business, online and offline, must be outstanding to ensure a positive customer perception. Look after your customers, and they’ll support your growth.